The subtle simplicity of mixing apple juice with Scotch whisky makes for a classic pairing, its beauty lying as much in the uncomplicated flavours of the mix as in the green tinge of Granny Smith apples which lend a rather soft touch to the yellowish brown spirit. In fact, blended with a Scottish whisky, apple juice really becomes reminiscent of the lush green lands and peaty soil of the Highlands, of windy days with rains pouring over vast verdant expanses and delightful Scottish cottages where warm fires burn in the hearth on cold days.
Moreover, Apple Dog introduces the tang of the luscious and crispy green fruit into the Scottish spirit which undercuts some of the smokiness of a classic Black Dog Blended Scotch Whisky to render a pairing which is highly versatile and vibrant.
While it is difficult to pin down the exact origins of the apple and whisky pairing, many mixologists infer that the proximity of apple-producing regions with whisky-making distilleries might have a role to play in bringing them together. Moreover, apples are generally harvested during the fall, a beautiful season for a comforting swig of whisky to warm you up as temperatures drop and cool winds blow. It is likely the abundance of crisp apples and freshly produced apple juice along with a hankering for a whisky dram would have led to the makings of this simple, yet extremely elegant cocktail.
Granny Smith apples, or simply, green apples have a slightly tangier note than the usual crimson variant and are a better alternative for pairing with whisky. The apples also have a distinct aroma which oozes into the drink to give it a rather pleasing quality. Mixing apple juice with whisky softens the drink and cuts down on a bit of a dry finish that might accompany the spirit if consumed on the rocks.
If you want to make this comforting wintertime cocktail at home, you can start by preparing a delicious Granny Smith apple juice, to avoid the store bought stuff. All you need is a generous portion of green apples, honey, some celery and water which can be blended into a smooth drink to top up a rock glass of Black Dog. Garnish this with freshly cut apple slices and try out variations like a drizzle of maple syrup or some apple liqueur for an elevated flavour profile. Make sure you put two to three ice cubes in the drink to highlight the sharp and distinct flavours of whisky and apple juice.
Read on below for a quick recipe to make an Apple Dog:
Fill your glass with ice.
Pour both ingredients in glass.
Stir and garnish with fresh apple slice.